NDKs lined up on Kayak Beach

Thoughts on Fitting, Demoing and Choosing a Sea Kayak

by Tom Bergh of Maine Island Kayak Co, Peaks Island, Maine

Sea kayak designs abound in our world. The following thoughts are offered to assist you in evaluating any kayak you paddle. With so many designs and models to choose from, which kayak is “the best”? It’s my hope to help you plot a positive and useful course through this exercise.

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Penrhyn Mawr

Swell, Wind Waves, Tides and the Effects of Landforms

Presentation by Tom Bergh for


Sea kayaking places us directly within two primary and unusual marine energy systems. Tides and their resulting currents, and ocean swell with their long periods.

Swells are moving hills of heavy, dense energy with often dramatic effects on the surface topography of the sea. Swells can intensify forces in the coastal zone, and often push Paddlers into heightened Fun or Fear dimensions.

Wind, above all environmental variables, has the greatest daily impact on most sea paddlers. So predicting wind speed, its direction, and understanding its impact on the texture of the sea, is essential to your seamanship skills. Winds are the movement of air caused by differences in temperature and pressure.

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Sea kayakers using Celtic Omega blades in the surf

Celtic Omega Blades

Celtic's Omega blade strikes an impressive balance in blade design. The dihedral shape allows for a comfortable, lower angle touring stroke, but is ready for quick and decisive maneuvering.

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Deception Pass

How Ocean Currents Work

(and How We Are Breaking Them)

A fun, silly and scientifically accurate 12 minute summary of how Ocean Currents work, and their effects on the North Atlantic.

Featured photo of Deception Pass, Puget Sound, WA.